10 Movie Unmaskings That Shocked EVERYONE

"Those who wear masks often tell us more truths than those with open faces."

Mission Impossible III
Paramount Pictures

Few things in cinema can beat a good swerve or reveal. And when it comes to cinematic twists and turns, nothing can ever really top a good unmasking.

Seeing a mask lifted off, peeled back, forced off, or even a metaphorical reveal can turn a good movie into a great movie when done correctly. Of course, when bungled or forced that same unmasking can turn a good movie into an absolute turd of a picture.

Across the decades, there have been so many great unmaskings that have left audience shocked to their core at what they've just seen play out before their eyes.

Sometimes that shock is one that plays with emotions, other times it's one that's just come from way out of left-field, other times it's almost comedic because its so nuts, and other times still it's something that we've all seen coming. Either way, shocker reveals are part and parcel of the film industry - and unmaskings fit perfectly along with that.

For their impact, let's get digging deep on some of the most shocking and hard-hitting unmasking moments to ever play out on the silver screen.

10. Rorschach - Watchmen

Mission Impossible III
Warner Bros.

On the whole, every member of the Watchmen has their own set of particular issues and traumas - but none of them are quite as unhinged as Jackie Earle Haley's Rorschach.

One of the most memorable moments of Zack Snyder's movie adaptation of Alan Moore's beloved graphic novel was the moment where Rorschach has his mask pulled off. Haley sells it like the biggest deal in the world, with this tough-as-nails anti-hero exploding into a ball of emotion - and that's because, to Rorschach, that unmasking is the biggest thing in the world.

After his digging on the Comedian's death finds the police hunt him down, it's here that the outnumbered Walter Kovacs has his mask pulled off as he screams, "Give me back my face!"

For so many years we've heard how Superman is the real identity and that Clark Kent is the disguise, or that Bruce Wayne is the disguise for Batman, and Rorschach's rage-fuelled plea hammers home the point that he very much sees his ink-blotted mask as his real identity and that Walter Kovacs is the real mask for this brutal vigilante.


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